I wanted to share this information for others who have been diagnosed with Pyroluria or suspect that they have it, and that wish to work out their Zinc, Copper and Ceruloplsmin ratios from blood tests as I personally found it helpful when I began to realise that copper overload or copper toxicity might have been part of my problem.
The following formula allowed me to confirm my suspicions that copper was very likely to have been causing a lot of my symptoms, by allowing me to work out how much unbound copper was floating around in my body as well as my zinc/copper ratio.
I must explain before you go ahead and use this, that this apparently isn’t an exact science. The level of copper showing in blood tests may not provide a completely accurate picture as apparently copper can be stored deep in the tissues, wreaking all sorts of havoc, while at the same time making the copper levels in your blood look normal or even low.
Hair testing may be more accurate, but here’s the formula anyway. I found it helpful.
Hopefully you will too…
Now let’s get the calculator out!
Firstly, we need to get the three measurements into the same units, ug/dL (micrograms per decilitre):
- If your results were given in g/L multiply by 100,000 to get ug/dL.
- If your results were given in mg/dL, multiply by 1,000 to get ug/dL.
- If your results were given in mg/L multiply by 100 to get ug/dL.
- If your results were given in ug/L, divide by 10 to get ug/dL.
- If your results were given in ng/mL, divide by 10 to get ug/dL. 1)
1) Zinc If your results were given in umol/L, divide by 0.153 to get ug/dL
2) Copper If your results were given in umol/L, divide by 0.157 to get ug/dL
3) Ceruloplasmin Results are usually given in mg/dL or g/L. Convert to ug/dL as above notes.Now calculate the ratios, etc.
4) Calculate the Copper:Zinc ratio, divide Copper (2) by Zinc (1), Reference range is 0.7 to 1.0. (This is a ratio, not ug/dL.)
5) Calculate the amount of Copper bound in Ceruloplasmin, Ceruloplasmin (3) in ug/dL multiplied by 0.003. (Ceruloplasmin is 0.3% Copper by weight)
6) Calculate the amount of Copper not bound in Ceruloplasmin, Total Copper (2) in ug/dL minus Copper bound to Ceruloplasmin (5). Reference range is 5 to 15ug/dL
7) Calculate the percentage of Non-Ceruloplasmin-Bound Copper: Non-Ceruloplasmin-Bound Copper (6) divided by total Copper (2), then multiplied by 100. Reference range is 5% to 20%.
Please take note that reference ranges are statistical ranges given by the laboratories. They are not the optimal or healthy range. They vary slightly between different laboratories, but they are generally around the same levels. They are usually two standard deviations above and below the mean, and that represents about 95% of the population sampled. ¹